Why is a Standardized IT Configuration Important to Growing Businesses?
Businesses that use a standardized IT configuration in their technology infrastructure gain in productivity and reduce their downtime and expense due to technical problems. Staff training and support costs also decline. This is achieved by having consistent software and hardware environments throughout the company.
What Lighthouse Integrations Does For Your Business as Your Managed Service Provider
Lighthouse Integrations can help businesses, especially those without in-house IT staff or those whose IT departments can benefit from additional enterprise-level experience, to research and define a standardized technology environment that is tailored to their specific business needs. This allows for a well-structured, secure, and compatible work experience for staff.
One of the services Lighthouse offers is to research and define a standardized technology environment that is finely tuned for your business needs and budget, to lighten the load on IT departments and allow a well structured, secure, and compatible work experience for your staff.
Benefits of Standardizing IT Infrastructure
When there is consistency in the infrastructure, computers and software, we can support your business goals more effectively. For example:
Troubleshoot problems easily with fewer variables, and make better use of IT resources
Proactively watch for, and eliminate, known issues before they happen
Update systems and patch software automatically on a determined schedule, which maintains performance and security
Quickly respond to critical issues and disasters, to minimize damage and recover rapidly
Positive impact on profits by achieving economy
Reduce costs through leveraging volume purchasing and vendor agreements for the highest value
Develop common procedures and automation tools to speed deployment and new install turnarounds as you grow, allowing cost effective expansion into new locations
Save costs on training and employee onboarding.
Standardization facilitates expansion
Growing businesses rely on technology as a foundation to support the business and to permit agility to remain competitive in the marketplace. Think of IT not as a cost center, but as a driver for growth. When the system performs well, it enables the organization to expand. Standardizing the IT infrastructure reduces variables, harmonizes the technology at the same level for consistent performance and to allow staff to have the tools they need.
Businesses using a standardized IT infrastructure use these consistent components:
- Hardware models – not a variety of old and new, or random brands of computer systems
- Operating systems – not a variety of versions
- Peripheral equipment – such as printers, scanners, copiers, barcode readers, making driver installation and maintenance easier
- Security applications – endpoint and network anti-malware protection that works cooperatively across a network to maintain coverage, and perform automatic threat definition updates
- Business applications – Email client, business productivity software, password manager programs
- Backup, file storage and file sharing with a data management plan for reliable access, to maintain integrity and to manage searches
- Establishing and maintaining Authentication Policies, for example Single Sign On (SSO) and Multi-factor Authentication (MFA)
Standardization and configuration management across the business provides consistency for your staff and reliability for your operational processes plus allows for quicker resolution of issues when they come up. This results in reduced expenses.
First step: are you ready?
Begin the process by evaluating the business’ maturity: Are the business processes adequately defined and ready for standardization? Get management and operations advice in this planning stage from an experienced consulting organization.
Key steps to standardization
Documenting the hardware (network, internet, computer system, storage, network devices) and software assets, and their relationships, and establishing continuous documentation to track inventory.
- This step is also critical for complying with regulations and standards for future goals.
Simplifying the technology structure, to reduce redundant processes, share assets and improve communication between business units and data silos.
- For example, do different departments each have different ways to record and store information and contact customers and suppliers?
Implementing layered security throughout the infrastructure, including authentication controls for users access from each location (Single Sign On and Multifactor Authentication) with central management.
Ensure consistency across data storage and cloud environments
Choosing unified management tools for managing and reporting on the software, assets, data and security
Documenting data handling processes – also critical for meeting industry standards and regulations
Automating repetitive tasks, and put in place a program to automate the monitoring and reporting process
Centralizing system management and eliminating “shadow IT” to reduce risks.
What We Know About Configuration Management and Enterprise Growth at Lighthouse Integrations
Lighthouse’s experience with businesses ranging from small-mid sized companies, large companies and up to global enterprises means that we know how to avoid the pitfalls that come with business growth. A solid foundation of IT Technology and system practises now supports your growth in the future.
Summary: Standard Systems Save Time, Regularize Budgets, and Decrease Issues
Standardizing IT infrastructure and introducing configuration management can save time, money, and reduce problems by increasing efficiency and efficiently resolving issues to reduce cost and facilitate growth. Contact Lighthouse Integrations to discuss how our technology advice can help your company succeed.